Mustangs upbeat after winless tournament

Coach stresses positives after 64-40 loss to Palmer


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Chugiak’s Roger Jorgensen gets his hand in the passing lane during the Mustangs’ 64-40 loss to Palmer on Dec. 21.

STAR PHOTO BY MATT TUNSETH

Chugiak head coach Kevin Fullmer isn’t too concerned with his team’s play in 2011. It’s 2012 that counts.

“You want to get better every game, get better every practice,” Fullmer said after his team dropped a 64-40 decision to Palmer in the final game of the Doc Larson Roundball Classic at Wasilla High. “That’s what it all comes down to.”

Chugiak went 0-3 in the tourney, but Fullmer said he saw plenty of positive things from his squad in those losses.

“Everyone from the top to the bottom did things to contribute to this team,” he said.

Skyler Fullmer led the Mustangs with 11 points in the loss, including three 3-pointers. Steven Puterbaugh and Payton Fullmer each added six.

Jackson Buresh had 23 points to lead all scorers for Palmer.

After the loss, Puterbaugh said coach Fullmer stressed the importance of doing the little things well.

“We’ve just got to focus on our fundamentals,” he said.

The tournament marked the sixth game in seven days for Chugiak, which emerged with a 2-4 record. But preseason tournaments mean little in the overall scheme of things, Puterbaugh said.

“Coach said it’s the last five games that matter,” he said.

Getting to play so many games early, he said, will help the team’s conditioning down the road.

“It was tiring at the end, but a lot of fun,” he said.

Fullmer said he’s excited with how the team is bonding in the early season, and hopes that camaraderie translates to success later in the year.

“They all want to get better, that’s the important thing,” he said. “I’m enjoying every one of them.”

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